God, you always ask for what is most precious:
“Abraham,” you say,”
“Take your son
Your only one
all that is precious to you
Take that upon which all your hope hangs
Burn it on the altar of sacrifice!”
Yes, I know, you do intervene
Always there is the 11-hour reprieve
Isaac is saved
A lamb is killed
And everyone goes home happy!
Us, your unglamorous little ones
your unknown poor,
those whom those concerned with your known poor
are unconcerned about.
Who don’t have an Isaac to sacrifice
And who don’t share in Abraham’s luxury of being able to freely
to sacrifice something.
We have no fruit from our longing
No flesh to reward our years of aching
We have only the poverty of unattractiveness
in our too-plain bodies and our varicose veins.
Unsmiling, masturbating in our neuroses
we are too tired and inhibited
to climb the mountain of sacrifice.
Would we had an Isaac!
Far better to give up
Knowing that at least we had had
producing only daydreams
What Isaac do you want from us?
But surely not!
Surely you would not have us tie that to the altar of sacrifice?
Plainness, varicose veins, unsmiling neurotic masturbation!
They are what?
The lamb you substituted for Isaac!